Have you ever wondered whether or not goals are necessary to achieve the kind of success and results you’re after in life?
I’ve been wondering the same thing lately.
For years, I’ve filled up notebook after notebook with career, personal and relationships goals, knocking them out one after the other.
Recently though, a weird thought crept into my mind – “Are all these goals really necessary?”
So that’s what I’m attempting to do in this post – give you raw reasons why, or why it might not be the best thing for you to be setting goals.
The fact is, with even a small amount of critical thinking we can conclude that goals are NOT “necessary” to achieve success.
Think about it, it’s perfectly possible in a universe full of quadrillions of variables for a person like you or me, to simply stumble across some form of success.
But then we have to define what success means, because if success only means money, wealth, and power, then a child born into the royal family is successful, right? He was simply born a prince without setting any goals at all.
So what does success actually mean.
Success, for the sake of this post, means personal success – and personal success means you have a desire for your life to be a certain way, and you want to see that aspiration fulfilled.
Are goals necessary to achieve success? I’ve wondered this – and the answer is yes. Personal success CAN be achieved WITHOUT a serious goal setting process, but it will be difficult for you to achieve “success” without knowing what you want, setting the intention to get it, and taking action. Those 3 steps are a part of setting goals, so technically setting a goal is definitely required, even if you do so lightly.
What does Success mean?
Success could literally mean anything, but as I showed you in the introduction, the way we define success is important for figuring out whether goals are required to achieve success or not.
In the example we define success as money, wealth, influence and power, and if that’s the case, anyone born into the royal family achieves those things simply by being born, and without achieving any goals at all.
I’m going to make the assumption (a good one think) that anyone asking this question is really saying – “To take my desires and aspirations and make them a reality…is goal setting required?”
So that’s what success means for us right here and now.
Success is your ability to take a vision for your future and make it real.
What are goals?
A goal is a method for taking an aspiration and making it real. A goal is literally the vehicle used to travel toward our desires and dreams, which could be considered destinations.
Goal setting is a method used to accomplish goals.
When you retreat into your imagination and think “It would be nice if I had this, if life were like this, If I felt like….”, you have the option of deciding to pursue that.
One you make a decision to do so, you’ve set an intention.
An intention can then turn into a goal once you think of ways to accomplish that feeling your after while you were daydreaming.
For example: a person might have an aspiration to respect and prestige among their colleagues, make the decision to go after that, and then set a goal to publish a set of revolution papers in their field to earn that respect.
Or you might aspire to make more money, in which case you could make the decision to start an online business that makes money for you while you sleep.
Goals are the way we make our internal desires manifest in the outer world.
Why does setting goals lead to success?
Setting goals aligns you with what you’re truly after. Random action is nothing but a waste of time. Some people are doing things just to feel like they’re doing something. Setting goals is a process that allows you to understand what you’re really after and go after it instead.
Beginning and end need to be measurable. A huge pitfall to achievement and accomplishment is chasing a thing for its own sake. When you set goals, you know when your goal has been achieved, and once that occurs you can analyze whether or not it got you the results you were looking for.
Seeing results along the way is important for confidence. During the goal setting process, you’ll ideally be journaling and recording the incremental progress you make.
So when you have a bad day and feel like nothing is going your way, instead of giving up, you’ll be able to look at your notes and realize that you’ve actually made significant progress – this is merely an “off” day.
Goals keep you accountable. Accountable to yourself and others. If you tell others you’re gonna do the thing, after a reasonable amount of time, they expect the thing to be done.
You’ll likely be having conversations about it, which will remind you that you promised yourself and the world you were going to do this.
Other than that, once you make a decision that you want life to be a certain way, and that you intend to pursue it, your mind and biology identify with that “aim” gradually.
Goal setting allows you to control the actions, dreams, visions etc…that you identify with, rather than being a jumbled mess of random nonsense.
You learn to prioritize. When you want to accomplish something, you’ll have to embrace everything conducive for your success, and reject everything detrimental to your success.
This is called prioritization, and it helps you spend time only on what matters, and not waste time on life sucking activities that offer you nothing.
A goal is a means to an end. A goal is nothing but an avenue you take to match your external reality with the internal shift you’ve decided to make.
You want to feel fit, rich, loveable, or whatever desire you have. When external life doesn’t match internal life, discord happens and we experience problems.
We want to feel fit, but we go to the mirror and realize that we’re not. When you set a goal, you change this, and make both of them match up. Life is better when internal and external agree.
Why is it hard to achieve success without goals?
Without a goal, you sit there in your mind with an aspiration. Your aspiration never makes it to paper, which means it never takes the first step manifesting in the “real” world (from mind to the physical).
A goal is nothing but a way of taking your imagination and making it concrete.
Trying to achieve anything successfully without a goal means you have no plan, no direction, and are going about the process randomly.
Random action means your results will be random as well.
What are people’s objections to setting goals?
Mostly things that are unfounded and lacking critical thinking skills.
People often say that setting goals doesn’t allow you to live in the moment. They said that they’re “free spirits”.
All pretty flimsy and silly arguments that really don’t need much discussion.
However, there are some people who’ve achieved success without setting goals in the same way that a progressed obsessed person might.
Take a successful rock band for example.
They’re not all sitting down with pen and paper, marking out objectives, examining the data and analyzing their results, but they do have a desire, a plan, and certain things they know need to be in place to become a successful band.
All of which are a part of the goal setting process, so there’s really no working your way around it.
Is there any research on goals and achieving success?
A Havard study done on students and how well they achieved their goals during school found that those who had no goals at all achieved very random (sometimes bad) results, while those who had goals, wrote those goals down, and actively pursued those goals were very successful (more than 80%) at achieving the results they wanted during school.
Do you set goals by yourself or get professional help?
Not necessarily, although, in the world of results, paid is always better than free. Getting a coach, finding someone online who offers helping you with your goals as a service, or paying for a course on goal setting is always a good plan of action.
You could look up goal setting theory online, design your plan and do everything yourself, but getting help from an expert (or a learned and well researched individual) is always a safer bet.
Why? Because goals take time, and learning from a learned person shaves that time in half as well as keeping you from wasting time doing the wrong thing.
Paying for a professional to help you, either personal or indirectly, is never a bad idea. As long as they’re qualified, sincere, and look reasonably like they’re not out to scam you, the results you get only increase when you pay.
Think about basketball, are you going to get good on your own, or will you be better off having an NBA coach teach you?
Enough said, right?
That being said, getting professional help isn’t necessarily expensive. You could greatly increase the results you get setting your goals by purchasing a decent goal setting planner.
It’s literally got everything…i mean EVERYTHING in it for a reasonable amount of dough.
How serious does the goal setting process need to be?
In my reality, the more serious you are about a thing, the better your results. There’s nothing I love in this world than a flimsy, wishy washy “oh let’s just have fun and not take life too seriously” flim flam (sarcasm).
If you want something in life, get it, and be serious about it.
One day you’re gonna die, and I’ll bet you wished you took your life a bit more serious then, won’t you?
Being serious about something means a lot of things.
- You focus on it more
- You try to do your best
- You’re consumed by it and think of things nobody else would ever dream of
- You get better results
- Other people take you more seriously
If you want something enough to set a goal in order to get it, why would you leave the above list on the table?
Alright, enough of that – I would say be as serious about setting your goals as you can without getting neurotic.
How do I start setting my first goal?
Once you decide that goals are necessary for you to achieve success – where do you start?
Start with your aspiration. What is the internal reality you desire?
- To feel and identify as a fit person?
- Massive wealth?
- Always loving life and having fun?
Set the intention to do the thing. Whatever the most powerful force in this reality is, it doesn’t stop humans from making the choices we make. If you think about that for a moment, you’ll realize how tremendously powerful you are merely in the power of the choices you make. You know what you want (aspiration), now make the choice to do the thing, and do it.
These are the first of many steps in a solid goal setting process that advanced goal setters use in their lives to achieve everything they’ve ever desired.
Those steps are outlined in exhaustive detail within this planner here.
There’s really nowhere else to go, except in the direction of the dream you have when you pick up this Slay your Goals Planner.
So if you’re ready to blast off right into the future you’re dreaming of, I suggest you go ahead and take a peak at what’s inside it!
Create a plan of attack. An action plan is required to move step by step toward the results you want. A good action plan has things like
- How long this should take
- Possible hiccup points
- Probably advancement opportunities
- Who you’ll be pursuing this with